So, with the beginning of fall temps around here, it's kind of kicked me into "warm, filling food" mode...which means soups, stews, chili, and LOTS of baking (not really good for me since I taste as I go).
Last night, according to my family, the Loaded Baked Potato Soup was a grand slam, out of the park, why bother running the bases when you could just walk, kind of meal...yes, THAT good!.
Here is the recipe in it's original form, from the Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook:
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (russet preferred)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons imitation bacon bits
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fat-free half and half
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (green part only)
1/3 cup shredded fat-free or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup fat-free or light sour cream
1-preheat oven to 350 F
2-pierce each potato several times with a fork. Put potatoes on a baking sheet.
3-Bake for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork or knife.
4-Let potatoes cool for at least 10 minutes. Peel the potatoes or cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Put the potatoes or scooped-out flesh in a medium saucepan. Mash with potato masher until slightly chunky.
5-Stir in the broth, bacon bits, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 6-8 minutes, or until the flavors have blended, stirring occasionally.
6-In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and flour. Whisk into the potato mixture along with the green onions. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.
7-To serve, ladle into bowls. Top each serving with cheese and sour cream.
Now.....for my version:
potatoes - any kind, as many as you want
3-6 cups of water (and 3-6 chicken boullion cubes....3 of each if you want a single batch, 6 if you want a double batch)
1-2 cups half-and-half (again, depending on if you are making single or double batch)
3-6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (single or double batch)
Notice....not too many measurements here because, honestly, it is to YOUR family's personal taste. The version I made last night had NO accurate measurements for the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, or pepper....basically what I thought "looked right".
ALL the steps are exactly the same. I add the ham in step 5 and I do *not* add in the green onions, nor do I top with cheese or sour cream....nobody in the family thinks it needs these things.
Last night, hubby added pinto beans to his serving....I guess there's room for more improvement, alterations, but once again, it all depends on your own family.